Flying High With The Space Kadets [Artist Spotlight]

Late last week we had the privilege of chatting with an up and coming electronic triumvirate from New York known as the Space Kadets. They happened to be gracing the city of Chicago with their presence in order to play a live set as the opening act for Krewella, in a show presented by Vevo. In fact, both artists were invited to the event due to their affiliation with the Vevo Lift program, which was designed to expose new talents to a broader audience by fully immersing fans into “the artist’s musical impact and cultural breadth.”

Acting as the resident DJ’s for the evening, the Space Kadets not only played the first set, but kept the crowd moving by mixing for the audience between each artist’s subsequent performance. It would seem that Vevo certainly recognizes talent when they see it. The music video they supported for the Space Kadets’ first single Nym-Pho has accrued nearly half a million views on YouTube since it was released in mid-June (A link to that video can be found here).

With numbers like that, it appears as if the skies cosmos are the limit for this triad of producers who have recently embarked upon a journey into the realm of electronic dance music.

Hailing from Westchester, an area just outside of New York City, Tim Mitchell, Giovanni Valenti and Danny Gallardo have been involved in music production for quite some time now. Although this trifecta has recently united under the Space Kadets moniker, the three have had a long history together. Besides creating music digitally, Giovanni and Danny are both self-taught saxophonists. Moreover, Mr. Valenti has actually managed to teach himself how to play drums and the piano as well.

Their story begins when Danny and Tim met at the age of fifteen and started producing hip-hop beats as a result of a mutual interest in the scene. As the two began to grow and develop as musicians, they started to craft arrangements for their friends and eventually, local rappers. About 4 years ago, the duo joined forces with the third member of the Space Kadets, Gio Valenti, and continued to create hip-hop productions under their very own label, Loop Dreams. Notable rappers releasing tracks on Loop Dreams include: STA, Ameer, That Kid Era and Styles P.

However, in 2011 the trio felt as if the hip-hop scene had succumb to a certain stagnancy in the quality of music being recorded.  During our interview, I can recall several instances where the boys reflected upon the halcyon days of hip-hop and rap music, stating that it “wasn’t the same as it used to be.” This feeling was partly responsible for what inspired these young men to venture out and try something new.

With the help of New York legend Todd Terry (who also unknowingly brought the boys together), the Space Kadets released 4 initial EPs on Todd’s label to launch their electronic dance music career. Unfortunately, running a label while simultaneously producing beats for rising rap phenoms was quite the task in itself. Their EDM side project was begrudgedly forced to the side for two years, without any follow-up releases from the Space Kadets until earlier this year. Each member was far too busy individually to devote sufficient time to the project. But now in 2013, the boys have released 2 new monster tracks: Nym-Pho and their latest, Aurora on their label Loop Dreams.

The Space Kadets’ sound is highly versatile. With a large hip-hop influence, the three produce mainly progressive and electro house tracks that draw influence from all other sub-genres of EDM. Using their musical expertise, the crew laces their productions with classical, jazz and latin melodical infusions to synthesize a sound that is purely unique.

These promising musicians pledge to always “stick to the music.” They vow to never compromise, to never release something they haven’t put their heart, soul and years of experience into. For them, it’s ‘the detail, the melody’, that inspires them to create quality, well-thought out productions with each piece or detail being ‘very strategic’. Future fans of the Space Kadets can most assuredly look forward to a group that doesn’t skimp in the effort department.

With the Space Kadets, it’s going to be an experience, every time. At the end of the day, our music is made simply to make you dance, to make you move and be happy. ”

Give a listen to their two most recent releases shown below. If you dig it, why not show them some love with a quick ‘like’ on Facebook or a ‘follow’ on SoundCloud or Twitter. While you’re at it, you might as well check out these exclusive videos the Space Kadets bestowed upon us, one of which documents the creation of their latest sensational jam Aurora (which, as of the day this was written, charted at #75 on Beatport’s top progressive house tracks). The other video included was created during the boy’s most recent trip to the Chi.

Space Kadets Social Media: Facebook, SoundCloud, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram    


Oh, and here’s a little bonus Q and A for you.

Jake: What is the significance behind the name “Space Kadets”?

SK’s: Our group is comprised of three members. Obviously we all cannot be seated at the DAW creating music at the same time. Usually, we take turns at the workstation. One of us will be producing, while the others sort of hang out and listen. The name is derived from the fact that any input or questions we have towards the person at the controls is usually ignored due to their engrossment in the work. They act like regular space cadets.

Jake: Who are the Space Kadets listening to lately?

SK’s: Laidback Luke, Zedd, we love Daddy’s Groove, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike

Jake: Which EDM musicians have influenced your sound?

SK’s: We love how Wolfgang Gartner and Deadmau5 sound, sonically. Their mixes are always awesome. That is a sound we want our final mixes to compare to.

Jake: DAW of choice? Plugins?

SK’s: We mostly use Ableton with Omnisphere, Nexus, Sylenth1, and Vengeance

Jake: Any fun facts?

SK’s: The vocals on Aurora were sung by my (Tim’s) third cousin Nicole. I happen to have a very large family that resides all over the NYC area. We were put in touch through family members. FYI, we will be releasing a remix to one of Nicole Medoro’s original tracks in the near future.


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